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The IFCC webinar on “Proficiency Testing/ External Quality Assessment: Program designs and practical approaches for addressing unexpected results" was held on 22 November, 2021.
Although proficiency testing has been a well-established part of the laboratories quality assurance system for many years, maintaining successful performance can still be challenging. Due to the recent high staff turnover in medical laboratories, there is a continual need for training to interpret EQA results and address identified performance issues.
Proficiency Testing (PT) is a method that allows for the comparison of a laboratory's test results with an assigned value from an external source. Developing corrective and preventive actions requires understanding the program's design and using systematic root cause analysis techniques.
The IQMH Immunology proficiency testing program covers a broad array of immunology analytes, including protein electrophoresis. The proficiency material used is converted serum from a single patient to most closely representing true patient specimens. We routinely include material from patients with monoclonal gammopathies in our testing cycle, which at times can cause perceived erroneous results due to analytical interference.
Failures, also known as discordant findings, may indicate non-conformities to specified protocols and must be investigated to identify the root cause. Therefore, the process of investigating factors requires a systematic approach to all the inputs that ultimately produce a reported result. Quality improvement is achieved when problems in the system are corrected, and measures are taken to prevent the recurrence of the identified error. A thorough yet efficient approach is important for timely intervention especially when patient results may be affected.
Certificate of Participation: available for all participants.
The IFCC Live Webinar Series is partially sponsored by Siemens and Boston Children's Hospital